TennisSection previews the 2022 Astana Open as Carlos Alcaraz takes on Holger Rune in the first round on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022.
Carlos Alcaraz’s first ATP Tour event as a World No. 1 will be at the Astana Open. The ATP 500 event in Kazakhstan welcomes some of the world’s top players including Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. How will the Spanish teenage sensation fare in what is a tricky opener against fellow Next Gen star Holger Rune?
Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as a world No.1 ended in a short-lived agony as he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in a Davis Cup group rubber in singles competition. But he was quick to atone for that defeat on home turf against South Korea, beating Soonwoo Kwon in straight sets to seal Spain’s place in the knock-out stages where they will face Team Croatia in November. The 19-year-old has been in scintillating form in 2022, highlighted his meteoric rise to No. 1 and winning his first Grand Slam at the US Open. He is set to make his Astana Open debut.
At the time of writing, Holger Rune will be contesting his second ATP Tour final at the Sofia Open. That came on the back of a semifinal win over Jannik Sinner, the two-time defending champion who was forced to retire due to injury while trailing 2-5 in the third set. The pair were locked neck and neck in a bruising baseline battle before Sinner twisted his ankle in a heavy fall in the third set. Rune continues to live up to the billing as one of finest prospects in men’s tennis for a player of his age and is comfortably ranked fourth in the Race to Milan behind only Alcaraz, Sinner and Musetti.
Carlos Alcaraz leads Holger Rune 1-0 in their head-to-head, winning the pair’s only meeting at the Next Gen ATP Finals last season. Both players have been on the rise since that meeting, with Alcaraz undoubtedly enjoying a more storied rise in 2022. The Spaniard needed a break from the game following his tremendous US Open triumph, which partly explains why he lost one of his singles rubbers at the Davis Cup in Valencia almost immediately. He should enjoy a more relatively easier passage against a tired Rune at the Astana Open.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Carlos Alcaraz in 2 Sets.
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